June 2009 Archives

Filling the Lending Gap

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Kiva provides an excellent way for people to engage in peer-to-peer lending by providing microloans to small entrepreneurs in poor countries (and now in the U.S. as well). However, how do you find funding for larger projects that require greater amounts of capital? One option is an organization like Root Capital, which is run by a social entrepreneur named William Foote.

I had never heard of Root Capital until recently when they won the 2009 Financial Times Sustainable Banking Award. According to their website, they deal specifically with rural entrepreneurs, and focus on filling the gap for loans that are too big for microfinance and too small (and risky) for mainstream banks. (Though I think I could make an argument that our mainstream banks took plenty of risks in the last decade.) Still, it's interesting to see more segments of the market being served by investment.

Founder of Acumen Fund to Appear in Twin Cities

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Jacqueline Novogratz, social entrepreneur and founder of the Acumen Fund, which invests in promising business models in developing countries, will be appearing at the Barnes & Noble in Edina next Tuesday evening (June 16, 7:00 PM). She'll be discussing her book, "The Blue Sweater: Bridging the Gap Between Rich and Poor in an Interconnected World." I'm trying to get through the book right now (and prepare for summer class, which starts next week as well)!

Barnes & Noble
3225 W 69th St.
Edina, MN